England Women have been crowned world champions after beating Canada 21-9 in the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup at the Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.
Tries from Danielle Waterman and Emily Scarratt gave England their first tournament win since 1994, while Scarratt also added 11 points with the boot.
It was Scarratt who got the scoring underway, and after her early penalty England almost had the opening try with 20 played when Hunt made a brilliant quick break, but the Lichfield No. 9 was held up just over the line.
Scarratt’s second penalty made it 6-0 and it wasn’t long before England did cross the whitewash. The ball was passed through the hands and after Tamara Taylor’s smart dummy, Maggie Alphonshi found Waterman who made no mistake in the corner.
Canada got onto the board on the stroke of half time through the boot of Magali Harvey to make it 11-3 at the break, and Harvey was on hand with her second penalty early in the second 40 to reduce the deficit to five points at 11-6.
Harvey scored her third penalty from distance after 58 minutes to make it 11-9, but England came straight back, and from the restart Scarratt made no mistake to restore England’s five-point lead.
With five to play Scarratt put the game to bed with a brilliant individual try – barging her way through the Canadian defence to score, and she added the conversion to make it 21-9 which is how it stayed.
Head Coach Gary Street said: “It feels a bit like a dream, it’s quite surreal and I think I’ll wake up in a minute. It’s a pretty amazing feeling and we’re just so proud of everyone involved – it’s a really special group, we’ve been on a long journey but to have that trophy makes it worthwhile.
“The support we’ve had has been amazing and it’s a huge relief to be able to deliver. Huge credit to Canada as well – I thought that they were excellent and made it extremely tough for us.”
15. Danielle Waterman, 14. Katherine Merchant, 13. Emily Scarratt, 12. Rachael Burford, 11. Kay Wilson, 10. Katy Mclean (captain), 9. Natasha Hunt; 1. Rochelle Clark, 2. Vicky Fleetwood, 3. Sophie Hemming 4. Tamara Taylor, 5. Jo McGilchrist, 6. Marlie Packer, 7. Maggie Alphonsi, 8. Sarah Hunter.
Replacements: 16. Emma Croker, 17. Laura Keates, 18. Rebecca Essex, 19. Alexandra Matthews, 20. La Toya Mason, 21. Ceri Large 22. Claire Allan.
Tries: Waterman, Scarratt
Penalties: Scarratt 3
Substitutions: Keates on for Hemming 54 mins, Essex on for McGilchrist 54 mins, Croker on for Fleetwood 60 mins, Matthews on for Packer 65 mins. Allan on for Merchant 70 mins, Mason on for Hunt 77 mins, Large on for Burford 77 mins
15. Julianne Zussman, 14. Magali Harvey, 13. Mandy Marchak, 12. Andrea Burk, 11. Jessica Dovanne, 10. Emily Belchos, 9. Elissa Alarie; 1. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, 2. Kim Donaldson, 3. Hilary Leith, 4. Latoya Blackwood, 5. Maria Samson, 6. Jacey Murphy, 7. Chris Robshaw, 8. Kelly Russell (captain). Replacements: 16. Laura Russell, 17. Olivia DeMerchant, 18. Mary-Jane Kirby, 19. Tyson Beukeboom, 20. Kayla Mack, 21. Julia Sugawara, 22. Brittany Waters.
Penalties: Magali Harvey 3
Referee: Amy Perrett